Law enforcement agencies in parts of the Northeast were warning parents to inspect their children's Halloween candy this week after receiving reports of people finding needles and other metal fragments inside chocolate bars. Officers told local affiliate NBC 10 that they found at least five miniature Twix bars and one Snickers with needles in them in Kennett Square, a town southwest of Philadelphia, and authorities were investigating similar incidents in Blackwood, New Jersey; Middlebourne, West Virginia; and Chicopee, Massachusetts.
"The police department continues to urge parents to check all candy received prior to ingestion, and people with candy left over that was not distributed to check it for tampering," the Kennett Square officers posted on Facebook Sunday night, adding that nobody had been injured as a result of the weaponized treats.
But in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, a 14-year-old girl had a close call. She bit into a candy bar and found a piece of a disposable razor inside, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Police declared it an isolated incident and didn't find anything else suspicious after x-raying the rest of her Halloween haul.
— WSYX ABC 6 (@wsyx6) November 1, 2015
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Mental Floss reported that fears of poisoned and altered candy started in the 1950s and spiked in 2000, when a Minneapolis man named James Joseph Smith was charged with adulterating a substance with intent to cause harm for giving out Halloween candy with needles inside. Aside from that incident, proven tampered candy cases have been rare. It's considered by many to be an urban legend.
This past weekend, an 11-year-old girl in Auburn, Massachusetts, was found to be lying about finding a piece of metal in a Hershey's bar. Still, police told parents to err on the side of caution. "As with all reports, it is unknown if the tampering was done at a home, at the factory or somewhere in between," New Jersey's Woodbury Heights Police Department wrote on Facebook. "If you find candy that appears to be tampered with, please report it to your local police department immediately."